Optus puts McAfee monitoring on its home router for WiFi Secure

Blocking software to sit on home routers as Optus looks to prevent malware and other threats.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Image: Optus

Optus has announced its WiFi Secure product, which makes use of active monitoring by McAfee software sitting on home routers in an attempt to block the spread of malware and other malicious threats.

The telco said as the number of internet-connected devices in the home continues to rise, there has been a growing need to "automatically protect" those potential threat vectors.

"It's built into the Optus compatible modems and, helps to make sure all internet traffic passing through the modem, to any device on that network, is safe -- even those without a display screen," Optus said.

Optus customers on a family plan will get the blocking at no additional cost, otherwise WiFi Secure will cost AU$5 a month.

The software on the router is connected to the McAfee Global Threat Intelligence Cloud Network, and is claimed to not receive any personally identifiable information. ZDNet has asked if the router fails gracefully if the McAfee cloud is not reachable.

"Based on activity from millions of sensors worldwide and a dedicated research team, this always-on, cloud-based threat intelligence service collects and publishes online threats that are uploaded to your network every minute to provide you and your family the latest protection," the telco said.

Taking another route, Australian incumbent telco Telstra has been using upstream DNS filteringphishing text, and scam call blocks to fight malicious threats.

Dubbed Cleaner Pipes, the DNS side of the initiative focuses on blocking command and control communications of botnets, the downloading of remote access trojans, as well as other forms of malware.

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